On May 28, 2014, the Additive Manufacturing Association within VDMA has constituted itself with 40 founding members from the industry as well as from research institutes. After a public event with speeches by leading scientists and users of 3D printing from different sectors of industry, the Association elected its board and agreed on future subjects to work on. Now, members will address these subjects within research groups.
“Thus, the foundation has been laid for cooperation along the whole value supply chain of additive manufacturing,” Rainer Gebhardt, the VDMA’s project manager, explained.
As a federation of mechanical engineers and machinery manufacturers also including large numbers of handlers and manufacturers of industrial 3D printing machines as well as specialized providers of engineering design services and finishing services, the VDMA is the optimal platform for cooperation. As the Association’s future mouthpiece, http://am.vdma.org was launched online at the beginning of May.
A rapidly increasing number of industrial users worldwide are adopting additive manufacturing, commonly called 3D printing. The young technology is rising from rapid prototyping to economical manufacturing of serial elements, starting from lot size one. While it has advantages, like toolless production, a high material efficiency and a maximum of design freedom, it also faces questions concerning materials, handling, and productivity, as well as reproducibility and standardization of processes. With the open and internationally oriented Association, the VDMA takes the initiative to further technical developments, standards, research and advancement in the field of additive manufacturing in cooperation with as many participants across a wide variety of sectors as possible.
“It’s also about building confidence in still-young additive manufacturing processes through experience reports by handlers, and through communication with constructors and machinery manufacturers. Our association will do its part in helping this technology to gain more maturity, so that it will eventually have its industrial breakthrough,” Gebhardt said.
“We very much welcome the VDMA’s initiative to give additive manufacturing a new home in order to pool German activities in this field,” said Professor Gert Witt, who is the chairholder for manufacturing technology at the institute for product engineering of the University Duisburg-Essen; he has been working with this technology for more than 15 years. “Within VDMA, a growing number of users and 3D printing machine manufacturers have come together, and through their products, this technology is applied in many sectors. For this reason, the new Association will give a substantial voice for all concerns of additive manufacturing.”